Monday, March 9, 2015

Interview Tips: How to Prepare for an Interview

There are so many different aspects to an interview from what you should wear, how you should act, what you can and can't talk about, etc. I think often the preparation before the interview can get overlooked, but can make such a difference when you are in the interview. It will make you more confident, and it will give the interviewer the impression that you want to be there and want to have that job. Here are a few things you can do to prepare, that are so so easy it's crazy not to do them! 

1. Research the Firm/Company

This is one of the most important things you can do because it will show that you actually do have interest in the company. Depending on how long you anticipate the interview lasting, it is likely that you'll be asked why you want to work there and why you applied for the job. You need to be able to tell your interviewer the answer to these questions, and if they can see that you have researched their company it will be a major bonus. i.e. "I noticed that you all just litigated a case on adoption law, and that is something I've always been interested in." or for something outside of the legal field, "I notice that your company has a lot of career opportunity and that is something that is important to me." 

All of that being said, you don't want it to look like you've memorized their website and are just spitting it back out. But, if you are asked what area of a law you are hoping to practice, the last thing you want to do is either (a) ask them what their firm does (because you should know!) or (b) reply with an area of law that the firm doesn't actually practice. 

This is something that you can spend as little as fifteen minutes on know way more than you would have going in, and it is something that is essential to feeling confident and honestly (and appropriate) answering the questions.

2. Research your Interviewer 

If you're lucky you will be told who is conducting your interview. Usually a company has a staff/employee/attorney directory that you can use to research your interviewer. And, fortunately for us, there is this thing called google. However, make sure if their linked in page comes up in your search that you either don't click on it, or are aware that they will know that you've viewed it. In researching your interviewer I think the important things to look for are (1) his or her position with the company, (2) how long he or she has been with the company, (3) undergraduate and graduate schools, (4) general appearance. This information can give you some preliminary information about questions they are likely to ask you and what they might expect from you. It can also be beneficial to know where he or she attended college or graduate school because if you have that in common it is something they will likely bring up and you can be prepared to discuss that. Finally, I do prefer to know what my interviewer is going to look like. I know it might sound ridiculous, and its obviously not the most important thing, but it's just one more thing that you will know before you get there and one less thing to distract you once the interview starts. 

3. Print Extra Copies of Your Resume and Transcript

It is rare that you would not have already submitted your resume, but you should still bring extra copies with you. Once I had two interviewers and one of them preferred not to look at the resume until the actual interview so that he wasn't pre-judging the applicants too much. Another time, I had an interview at a big law firm and the associate I was interviewing with had left his copy of my resume in his office, rather than the conference room we were in. He didn't ask for one, but when he mentioned he'd left it, I was able to provide another copy to him. Again, this is an easy thing to do, but can definitely make an impression. 

4. Decide what to Wear the Night Before

As I mentioned in this post, what you wear to an interview can be, and usually is very important. It is also important to make sure that everything you plan to wear is clean and that you can find it. I would recommend trying it on to make sure if fits how you think it should, although not ideal to have to go buy a new suit, it is important to make sure you look professional and maybe it is time to purchase a new suit. Whatever the case, make sure everything you have planned to wear is clean and ironed and get it ready the nice before to ensure a less stressful morning.  

5. Prepare a List of Questions

More often than not you will be given the chance to ask questions to your interviewer(s) at the end. As I addressed above, you definitely do not want to ask any questions that you could have found the answer to on their website. However, you can use that information to form other, deeper questions. There are a lot of factors that can play into what questions you should ask, and tomorrow I will provide a lengthly list of questions that will give you options whatever the situation. 

How do you like to prepare for an interview? 

Have a Great Day, y'all!

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1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I keep a list of questions to ask at interviews... I've been lucky with them so far!